Locating Literary Language

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI:
Locating Literary Language

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This essay explores the constraints on the interpretation of a literary text. The possibility of language, thought, and interpretation depends on the triangular situation which relates speaker and listener, and both to a shared object in the public world which they can observe together, and to which they can observe each other’s responses. Such a triangular situation exists in literature. Interpretations of a text will vary from person to person, culture to culture, and century to century. However, it does not follow that a text means whatever its readers take it to mean, since disagreements about the meaning of a text are only possible against a shared basis of agreement.

Keywords: philosophy of language; theory of action; linguistics; text; interpretation

Chapter.  6409 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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